Differences in Algebra I End-Of-Course exam grade level performance of African American students by gender and economic status: A multiyear statewide investigation

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December 2023

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Abstract

Purpose The purpose of this journal-ready dissertation was to determine the extent to which African American boys and girls might differ in their performance on the Texas state-mandated Algebra I End-of-Course exam. Specifically, the degree to which differences might exist between African American boys and girls on the Approaches Grade Level, Meets Grade Level, and Masters Grade Level standards. Performance on the Algebra I End-of-Course exam was analyzed for the 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019 school years. African American student performance on the Algebra End-ofCourse exam by gender was investigated in the first study, performance on the Algebra End-of-Course exam of African American girls as a function of their economic status was investigated in the second study, and performance on the Algebra End-of-Course exam of African American boys as a function of their economic status was investigated in the third study. Method A causal-comparative research design was present for all three studies. Archival data were collected through a Public Information Request form submitted to and fulfilled by the Texas Education Agency Public Education Information Management System for the 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019 school years. v Findings Concerning the STAAR Algebra I End-of-Course exam, higher percentages of African American girls met the three grade level standards (i.e., Approaches Grade Level standard, Meets Grade Level standard, and Masters Grade Level standard) in all three school years than African American boys. Statistically significantly higher percentages of African American girls who were not in poverty met the three Grade Level standards in all three school years than African American girls who were economically disadvantaged. Similar results were present for African American boys in that higher percentages of African American boys who were not in poverty met the three Grade Level standards in all three school years than African American boys who were economically disadvantaged. Of concern were the high percentages of African American girls and African American boys who did not meet any Grade Level standard in the studies for all three school years. Results of these empirical investigations were commensurate with the existing literature regarding gender and economic status and their relationship to mathematics proficiency.

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Education, Mathematics

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